More than 130 people — most of them children — had their heads shaved in Gander on Thursday to help young people with cancer.

The fundraising event raised more than $20,000 for Young Adult Cancer Canada, an organization that runs cancer support programs for young adults across the country.

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Nine-year-old Ethan Hicks says he shaved his head because his grandfather, aunt and uncle all died from cancer. (CBC)

"What we're doing here in Gander has turned out to be the biggest school shave that we've ever done in our eight years of shaving for the brave," organizer Geoff Eaton said.

Many of the students who got the close shave had personal reasons for doing it, sharing stories about loved ones as they sat in chairs to donate their hair.

Ethan Hicks, 9, shaved to remember a number of close relatives and friends.

"Because my pop died with cancer, and my aunt, my uncle and my mom's friend — they all died from cancer," said Hicks.

"They lost all their hair when they got treatments." 

Eaton, a two-time cancer survivor, established Young Adult Cancer Canada [originally as RealTime Cancer] in 2000.